55% of Unvaccinated College Students Lie About Status at Schools That Require Vaccine

The survey also found 51% of unvaccinated college students have lied about being vaccinated in a social setting.

55% of Unvaccinated College Students Lie About Status at Schools That Require Vaccine

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A new report from Intelligent.com, a resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, found more than half of unvaccinated college students are lying about being inoculated at schools that require the COVID-19 vaccine.

Researchers looked at responses from 1,250 unvaccinated students from July and found that 55% lied about their vaccination status to their school. Almost half of the respondents said they have purchased or created fake vaccine cards. Another 15% said they made false claims of religious exemptions and 16% made false claims of medical exemptions. Furthermore, the survey found 19% lied through verbal or written statements because their schools did not require proof of vaccination.

In social settings, the survey also found 51% have lied about being vaccinated with 61% saying they lied to prevent conflict with people with different opinions about the vaccine. Other reasons for lying in social settings included avoiding pressure to get vaccinated (52%), being shamed (50%), or being excluded from social activities (41%).

Students who lied to their colleges are also more likely to lie in social situations. About 81% of students who lied about vaccine status to their college will also lie to their peers in social situations. The report also found males were 20% more likely to lie about vaccine status than females (61% vs. 41%).

By race, 61% of unvaccinated White students and 65% of unvaccinated Asian students gave false information about their inoculation status, compared to 48% of Hispanic/Latino unvaccinated students and 40% of Black unvaccinated students.

View charts from the study

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported 1,055 campuses across the U.S. are requiring students to be vaccinated as of Sept. 28, opening up a new market for selling fake vaccine cards.

“The United States, unlike most countries which have electronic systems in place, is basing its vaccination on a flimsy paper card,” Benjamin Mason Meier, a global health policy professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, told the Associated Press. “There need to be policies in place for accountability to make sure that every student is operating in the collective interest of the entire campus.”

In March, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a joint statement making unauthorized use of the seal of a government agency a federal crime.

Erika Wilson, a professor of law at UNC-Chapel Hill, told USA Today that most county health departments have records of who got vaccinated and that colleges and universities can use that data to address the issue of fake documents.

About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law, and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her 2 children and her dog.

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